When Teri Hatcher slid into a seat next to Marc Cherry at the ABC Press Tour party last Thursday night in Los Angeles, she was all ears and wide-eyed as her Desperate Housewives boss was discussing one of her storylines for next season with me and a few other reporters.
Cherry, his voice growing hoarse from non-stop interviews, surprised us by revealing something for the first time: around episode five, we may be seeing a rainbow flag hanging outside one of the homes on Wisteria Lane. It seems that Hatcher's character of sweet and bumbling Susan – who married hunky Mike Delfino (Janes Denton) in the season finale – will get new next door neighbors with whom she will instantly clash and, they will be… a gay couple!
That's right: Desperate Housewives, which had frustratingly put the storyline of gay teen Andrew Van De Kamp (Shawn Pyfrom) on the back burner in Season 3, is finally having its first same-sex couple move into the neighborhood. "We're going to have the first male desperate housewives," said Cherry, the show's gay creator and head writer. "They will move into the old Applewhite house and one of the gay men will just have a fractious, hateful relationship with Teri Hatcher."
So who will play the same-sex couple? Roger Bart, so fabulous as the gay "wife" in the remake of "The Stepford Wives" a few years back would be perfect for one half but he's already played a heterosexual on Housewives and a creepy one at that: Bree's wacko pharmacist beau who killed her first husband, Rex.
Said Cherry about potential actors for the part: "We just started writing the episodes so I probably won't start casting for another few weeks."
He didn't have to look very far for inspiration since he is basing the characters on some of the real-life neighbors he has had skirmishes with over the years. "I just decided to have them move onto the street and have as many issues as any other couple," Cherry said while sipping on a coke inside the party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. "And Susan wants to be so politically correct and show how open-minded she is and she puts her foot in her mouth instantly and it goes downhill from there. I'm basing it a little bit on my relationship with my neighbors."
When Hatcher was asked about Susan clashing with one of the gay men she was quick to say: "Not over being gay!"
Cherry interjected: "She doesn't know what they fight over yet. These [the actors] are the last person you want to go to about the storylines."
Hatcher's Susan will not only be adjusting to a new marriage and a new gay neighbor she doesn't get along with, but also an old friend (Dana Delany) who moves back onto Wisteria Lane with her husband (Nathan Fillion) to stir things up even more. "I can't tell you how excited I am about this season," Hatcher said. "Dana Delany is so great. She's got the drama and the comedy and the edge. She is just brilliant."
So what about Andrew? Many gay viewers have been especially intrigued with, and invested in, his character ever since Susan caught him kissing Justin (Ryan Carnes) in the swimming pool in the first half of Season 1. Andrew's clashes with his mother Bree (Marcia Cross) over his sexuality made for some memorable scenes in Seasons 1 and 2. After coming out to his mother, Bree says to Andrew what Cherry's mom said to him in real life: "I'd still love you, even if you were a murderer."